Who remembers Cannon Fodder? The classic top-down war shooter that graced many a floppy drive of PCs (and Amigas) back in the 90s blended satirical comedy with Rambo-style action and some genuinely poignant anti-war messaging. While Cannon Fodder is long gone, for over a decade now the Tiny Troopers series has stepped into the venerable game's steel-capped boots, delivering that fast-paced mouse-clicky (or twin-stick shooter) squad combat to Windows and mobile across multiple games.
Tiny Troopers: Global Ops has just launched on Steam, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch, and is the series' latest foray onto the battlefield. The game lets you (and up to three of your friends) take your battle-hardened, snappily dressed troops on special operations all around the world. You're almost always outnumbered but never outgunned, as you can call in airstrikes and reinforcements, as well as rely on your own sharpshooting skills to gun your way through all kinds of military adversity.
But Tiny Troopers publisher Wired Productions is acutely aware that when you depict war in games–however stylised and removed from reality–you have a duty to acknowledge that it doesn't exist in a vacuum. During Global Ops' development, and ongoing today, the independent country of Ukraine has been subjected to an unjust invasion by Russia. Sickened by these events, Wired Productions last year stepped up and donated a total of $75,000 to support innocent Ukrainian people affected by the war, sending the donations to various NGOs offering aid in Ukraine, including the Red Cross and Unicef.
Mindful of the sensitivities people may have at this harrowing time, developer Epiphany Games has also adjusted the content of the game, removing the original boss of Chapter 3 in Global Ops. While the game has a lighthearted cartoony tone, and doesn't claim to be a work with strong political messaging, it does pit the player and their pals against a bunch of military megalomaniacs from all around the world, whose greed causes conflict and chaos for innocent people. Wired Productions hopes that in its own little way, Global Ops can help people reflect on the wastefulness of war (while sticking it to the bad guys!).
Wired's work isn't done. Alongside Global Ops, the publisher has launched the anti-war single 'Broken Walls' by alternative rock/rap artists Ivar & The Horde (Stu Brootal & Kieron Pepper) in partnership with War Child, with all Bandcamp proceeds raising money to support children affected by conflict. The track itself, with its energetic tempo and rapid-fire lyrics, is a protest song, urging listeners to question the dangerous and world-shattering decisions made by those who choose the path of war. It's an earworm with a message, and if you're a fan of the anarchic heavy rap metal of legendary band Rage Against The Machine, then you'll definitely find something to appreciate here.
You can buy the Broken Walls single at Bandcamp, and also make separate donations at Black Razor Records' GoFundMe. As for Tiny Troopers: Global Ops, you can head over to the official site for links to buy the game for PC, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, and Nintendo Switch. If you want to hear more sounds from Wired's in-house record label Black Razor Records, then check out their Twitter page. You can also follow Wired Productions on Twitter and Facebook, as well as keep track of Tiny Troopers: Global Ops on Twitter.